The new multidisciplinary field of discard studies considers definitions of, attitudes toward, and behaviors around waste, broadly defined. This blog is meant as an online gathering place for scholars, activists, environmentalists, students, artists, planners, and anyone else whose work touches on themes relevant to the study of discard.
Discard practices involve many elements, including these:
1. social customs
2. labor arrangements
3. resource stocks and flows
4. economic relationships
5. cultural assumptions
6. public health controversies
7. political histories
Attitudes about discards as things and discarding as a practice are informed by deeply held and sometimes contradictory notions of value, worthlessness, disgust, and the boundaries of the self
Discard studies as a field in its own right has rich potential, drawing upon but going beyond approaches to waste undertaken in disciplines of cultural anthropology, economics, sociology, archaeology, history, and environmental studies, to name a few.
Discard Studies needs authors! Want to contribute? Read the ‘About‘ section to get an idea of our approach and focus. If they appeal, send me an e-mail [robin.nagle @ nyu.edu] with ideas about what you’d like to write.
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